Mystery House Journal

robertk

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May 16, 2023
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Just about the time I got my new Deus II, I was looking at an old map of my neighborhood and discovered that in 1940, there was a house sitting in what is now my front yard. This surprised me greatly, so I started hunting old photos and found a 1955 aerial photo, with no trace of the house. So it was there sometime before 1940 to get "on the map", but was completely vanished by 1955.

So I worked out the distances from the old map and got a good guess to where the house was, and started hunting. I quickly discovered that my entire front yard is littered with iron.

I don't know when the house was built, but I'm assuming mid to late 1800's. So far I haven't found anything with a date on it, but what little I have found seems to back up those dates.

So I'm starting this thread to post interesting things, mostly for feedback as I try to understand the history of those who were here before I was. Here's some of the stuff I've found so far. Any comments on what they are, or what they are used for, are welcome.

This was identified (thanks to this board!) as a suspender adjuster, pre-1920.
suspender_clip_front.JPG suspender_clip_back.JPG

And this one is part of a victorian bed rail attachment.
bed_rail_hardware.JPG

This one is a spoon, obviously. Silver plated, well worn. I haven't found an exact match on the pattern and I can't quite read the maker's mark, but the stuff I find that's close is in the early 1880's. Interestingly, I found this standing vertically in the ground, big end down. It took some digging to extract it.

spoon.JPG spoon_front_close.JPG spoon_back_close.JPG spoon_stamp.JPG

I've also found a few shotgun shell end caps. At first I ignored these thinking they were just trash from a careless modern hunter, but after investigating, these are from around 1900 (Union Metal Cartridge Company, "New Club" style, produced between 1891 and 1911).
caps.jpg

And some iron stuff...

horseshoes.JPG bolts_nuts.JPG insulator_front.JPG insulator_back.JPG

I've found several of those square nuts. They look like they might be blacksmith-made because while the hole diameter is pretty consistent, the size and thickness of the nut itself varies quite a bit. And that thing that looks like a telegraph insulator is a mystery -- iron wouldn't make a very good insulator.

Then there's this partial plate -- quarter inch thick and heavy. Maybe a stove part?
round_plate_front.JPG round_plate_back.JPG


And then there's this thing.
massive.JPG
It's about 8" diameter, about an inch thick, with a 1/4" "rim" around one side, totally flat on the other. And it's heavy -- weighing exactly 2 kilograms (4.4 lbs) in its current state. No obvious handle or anything to indicate use.

So there's what I know so far. I will post more as I discover it...
 

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robertk

robertk

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robertk

robertk

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Another hour in the yard, and more "stuff". Mostly familiar things, but at least one new one. The obligatory spike, stove parts, and random cast iron pieces. Some square nails, a couple of random copper bits, a complete but broken harmonica reed plate, and what I think must be a heel plate for a shoe (can anyone verify?). Front and back of the "shoe plate" are below. It's about the size of a silver dollar. The harmonica reed plate was all in one hole, but was already in several pieces when I dug it up.

IMG_3764.jpeg IMG_3762.jpeg IMG_3763.jpeg
 

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robertk

robertk

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Another hour hunt yesterday. Not much of note, just a few interesting items.

IMG_3829.jpeg

I think the two long pieces are two halves of a hinge, though the ends of both pieces are incomplete so I can't really tell. Both were in the same hole. That crumpled mess in the upper right looks like the top of a large tin can that was opened with a P-38 or similar device. Some nails, some cast iron, the usual stuff. I'm not sure what that square "rod" is at the lower left. I'd normally guess square nail, but it does not seem to be rusted at all, and it rang up with a VDI of 91. So I don't know.

There is a weird looking thing that strikes me as maybe a car part or something? (I know the person who moved here in 1907 had a car at some point, so maybe?)
IMG_3831.jpeg

There's a buckle that I'm guessing is horse tack of some sort. It still moves.
IMG_3830.jpeg

And finally, one nice little thing that isn't iron. A little buckle. Not sure if it was for suspenders or what, but it's a nice little brass buckle. Rather thin and dainty, but it actually still works. No makers mark or anything though. Here's front and back.
IMG_3832.jpeg IMG_3833.jpeg
 

releventchair

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Looks a bit like a star wheel adjuster for brake shoes.
Should be toothed on edge of greatest diameter where it looks smooth in the pictures. The toothed area being how it is adjusted through the access hole after original installation and adjustment at that (original) time when it could be turned by hand/fingers before the brake drum was installed.
 

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robertk

robertk

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Some more recent finds. The first photo is eyeball finds after the last rain -- including a lug nut that my truck has been missing for several months.
IMG_3880.jpeg


Then this photo is stuff from metal detecting yesterday.
IMG_3895.jpeg


The plow point is obvious, then a random piece of cast iron, a thing that looks like the top of a toothpaste tube, squished flat, a small iron dome, probably a cap to something, a larger iron whatsis, a lead/pewter whatsis, and a few nails. The black thing at center left is a pressure washer fitting from a different part of the yard (not from the old homestead site).

If anyone knows what the iron whatsit might be, I'd be very curious. It is toothed on one side like a gear, has an opening in the middle with an "ear" on one side, and that tab sticking off one side of the circle. I've got no clue what it was. Here's both sides, click to enlarge. It's about four or five inches in diameter -- larger than a tin can top, but smaller than a coffee can lid.
IMG_3896.jpeg IMG_3897.jpeg

And here's the other whatsit, which is another stumper to me. It looks to be a ring or cone that has been folded in half. The little nub sticking off the side is actually three parts, sort of like the top of a plus sign, with the two round parts on either side, and a flat part in the middle. I don't know if it was always bent into the current shape, or if it used to be flat like the ring would have been. Any guesses?

IMG_3898.jpeg IMG_3899.jpeg IMG_3900.jpeg IMG_3901.jpeg IMG_3902.jpeg
 

releventchair

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Might have a seed metering device in the eared gear lookin thingy do
IF the ear lifts a seed on the merry go round and controls it to a drop.
Or...it could be like a ground driven spreader you push and a smaller gear drives the one we see .
It (the larger picture round disc)would be horizontal then and seed/fertilizer/salt ect. forced into the open squarish hole.Which could be defended by a thin gate. to open and close to regulate flow rate.
Seeders carry(ied) fertilizer cans as well as seed cans. All fed through metering devices..
Or , I don't know!

Not sure what your other pieces are either. But I'll stick with seeders. l.o.l..
Here's the bottom of a hopper . Corn seeder but plates for other seeds are interchangeable on some units.
OIP.NTCR4RGlEHqZHuRhAqecIQHaE8
 

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